As promised (did I promise?) here is another quick Diwali recipe, just in time. Malaai is the Hindi word for milk fat that collects on top of non-pasteurized full fat milk when boiled. Just think about it – pure fat. Hmmm…it is not that easy to find non-pasteurized raw milk here so forget about this recipe. Not really, I got you covered. This recipe of malaai peda does not use malaai..gasp, I am sorry. But hey, you make the best of the cards you are dealt..and my cards don’t involve raw milk. Therefore, we use regular (pasteurized, homogenized) store bought full fat milk and go from there.
Think about this malaai peda as a milky soft fudge that has a rich and luscious feel to it. The taste is intense due to addition of bold flavors like saffron and cardamom. Therefore, it is best to make them in very small size, almost quarter of the size of regular ladoo so that you can enjoy the richness fully and it does not get overwhelming for your taste buds. To achieve the traditional malaai texture, I used chaina (recipe here, one-step short of making paneer). If you have some chaina already made, then this recipe comes together rather quickly. If not, plan and make a batch of chaina (recipe here).
Chaina – 1 batch (recipe here)
Sweetened condensed milk – ⅔ cup
Milk – ¼ cup
Green Cardamom – 3
Saffron – a generous pinch
Pistachios (coarsely chopped) – 8-10
Ghee – to grease
In a blender, add chaina, condensed milk, green cardamoms, saffron and milk. Blend until smooth.
Set a non-stick pan on medium low heat and transfer the blended mixture to the pan. Start cooking the mixture slowly, stirring continuously until it thickens. You will see that as the mixture thickens, it starts to come together, almost like a wet dough. This whole exercise should not take more than 8-10 minutes.
Turn the heat off and allow the peda mixture to cool down a little bit so that it is easy to form into little discs with your hands. Grease your hands with ghee (recipe here). Take a small portion of the mixture, I would say approximately a teaspoon, and roll into a small ball and flatten it a bit to form into a disc. Press some chopped pistachios on top of each peda as a garnish. Enjoy and share some mithaaii with friends and family on this happy occasion….. Happy Diwali!
Measuring cups and spoons
Knife and chopping board
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